On Monday, the Board Of Control For Cricket In India (BCCI) released a statement regarding the ICC ODI World Cup warm-up match between Pakistan and New Zealand, that will be held on 29 September in Hyderabad. The BCCI said that the match will be played behind closed doors, that means no crowds will be allowed for the game. The BCCI said the decision to keep the game behind closed doors was taken after advice of local security agencies, keeping in mind that the match will collide with festivities on the day. The Indian board further added that the tickets for the fans who bought them will be given a refund. (More Cricket News | ODI World Cup 2023)
According to reports, the Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) had flagged off concerns regarding the match after it received advice from the local security agencies over large gatherings in the city due to Ganesh Visarjan as well as Milan-Un-Nabi festivals on September 28.
"The ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 warm-up match between New Zealand and Pakistan scheduled to take place in Hyderabad on September 29 will now take place behind closed doors as per the advice of the local security agencies. The match in Hyderabad coincides with festivals on the day and large gatherings are expected around the city. The spectators who bought tickets for the game will receive a full refund," the BCCI said in a release.
Babar Azam-led Pakistan side are set to arrive in Hyderabad via Dubai on September 27, Wednesday. Pakistan's World Cup warm-up fixtures include a game against New Zealand on September 29 followed it up with Australia on October 3 in Hyderabad.
Post their warm-up games, Pakistan open their ODI World Cup account against Netherlands on October 6 and follow that up with Sri Lanka on October 10 in Hyderabad itself. The headline fixture remains - India vs Pakistan, that will be played on October 14 in Ahmedabad in the Narenda Modi International Cricket Stadium.
Also, Pakistan's calls for approval of their visa has been answered after they received the green flag to travel to India on Tuesday following which Babar's side would leave from Dubai. The Men In Green had a team-bonding session in Dubai but it was cancelled as their visas were approved by the Indian Government on Monday.
Visas have been issued to Pakistan," an ICC spokesperson told PTI. However, confusion remained in the Pakistan camp over the grant of visa. "We have not got the call from Indian High Commission yet over visa clearance. Member of our team is stationed there," PCB spokesperon Umar Farooq told PTI.
Pakistan had a poor showing in the recently held Asia Cup 2023. Furthermore, they lost Haris Rauf and Naseem Shah due to injuries with the latter set to miss the start of the tournament.
Pakistan World Cup squad: Babar Azam (C), Shadab Khan (VC), Muhammad Rizwan, Imam-ul-Haq, Abdullah Shafique, Saud Shakeel, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Iftikhar Ahmed, Muhammad Nawaz, Muhammad Wasim Junior, Agha Salman, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Osama Mir.